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>> trayvon martin gave up his rights, and shifted from buying a victim to being an aggressor when after he knocked zimmerman down he didn't runaway from that situation. >> cenk: so that argument was george zimmerman had the right to initiate the conflict. he had the right to shoot trayvon martin when he fought back, but trayvon martin had no rights and could not defend himself even though he did not have the weapon. believe me, larry pratt has been an incredibly stupid man for an incredibly long time. welcome to the ring. which we delivered a long time ago. "the young turks," see you tomorrow [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." it has been five days since the
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tragic shooting at sandy hook elementary school where 26 people were murdered, including 20 innocent children. today the bodies of daniel barden, charlotte bacon and caroline previdi were all laid to rest as victoria soto who was shot and killed as she attempted to shield her students when when the shooter adam lanza open fired. >> obama: the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. the fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence. and prevent the very worst violence. that's why i've asked the vice president to lead an effort that includes members of my cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than january proposals that i then intend to
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push without delay. this is not some washington commission. this is a team that has a very specific task, to pull together real reforms right now. that those of us who were sent here to serve the public trust can summon one tiny iota that those teachers in newtown summoned on friday. if cooperation and common sense prevail, then i'm convinced we can make a sensible and intelligent way to make the united states of america a safer, stronger place for our children to learn and to grow. >> eliot: the president focused specifically on three proposals that appeared to have significant and growing support closing the gun show loophole so that background check is required and banning assault
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weapons and ammunition clips. he was then asked why it didn't happen in the first team. >> this is not the first prolific gun violence of your four years. where have you been? >> here's where i've been, jake. i've been president of the united states in an economic crisis since the great depression. two wars, i don't think i've been on vacation. so you know, i think all of us have to do some reflexion on how we prioritize what we do here in washington. >> eliot: for more i'm joining by michael tomaski thank you for joining us. >> always a pleasure, eliot. >> eliot: so did the president put jake tapper in his place with that rather succinct and abrupt answer and more importantly did the president with his strict timeline, the
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specificity and the sense of urgency that he gave to vice president biden in leading this effort say i want something to put in my state of the union did he put something in the answer that jake tapper was entitled to ask. >> i do think that was a pretty good response from obama. he has been a pretty busy guy. but we also all know taking on the nra is a tough thing. it risks a lot of political capital, and the votes probably aren't there. haven't been there for the last four years, still may not be there now incredibly enough. but now he knows he has to act. as for the timeline, i was impressed, actually. when i got up and read the headlines and saw that he was appointing a task force i rolled my eyes and thought, oh boy, six months later where is this going to leave us? this is going to miss the moment. but as he spoke, he was very resolute. he had the specific three proposals that you alluded to in
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your opening and he sounded just very resolved, and january is a strict timeline. i would count it still as striking while the iron is hot. i was impressed by the end of that performance. >> eliot: yes, i agree with each of the points you just made. i think an open question for me is will the vice president come back with proposals that go beyond the three that the president articulated. i think those are good. they are the ones where there is the greatest sense of cohesive cohesiveness, with you, but as you pointed out, still not the certainty that it will go through the house. do you think they'll go beyond those three? >> i would like them to go beyond those three. i'm not sure into what, specifically but more into ammunition. when that guy in aurora, colorado was able to buy thousands of rounds of ammunition online. there is something wrong with that. that needs to be addressed i think. i would like to see him put six things out there and maybe get
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three at the end of the day. i think that's how you have to do something like this. public opinion in favor of the basic dividing line between sports men's rifles and single action handguns on one hand, and these types of weapons that are only meant to kill large numbers of people on the other hand. that's a bright line that the president can use and exploit and i think he'll have tons of public support in doing so. >> eliot: i think the devision is one that is reflected in the nr a and reflected in the leadership of the nra and the membership of the nra the majority of the nra members would agree with you. we're experts sports men hunters we don't need the magazines with those types of bullets. what would wayne la pierre say on friday when they lift their vow of silence and speak to us. what do you think they'll say?
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>> i don't know. that's a big question. the only hint we got was this little online chat that they had on their website. in which they made some noises, incredibly enough, about arming more people, and arming more school officials which is just insane. arming teachers, arming--i don't know what. but if that's really the way they go, i think it's going to be so self marginalizing and so self-discrediting. you're right, there was a poll this summer, i'm sure that's what you're alluding to, about n ra members and two-thirds of them believe there should be restrictions on the semiautomatic and automatic weapons. two-thirds of the nra members. but the nra leadership, they're holding out for the most extreme element. if that's where they want to go and if that's where all the republicans in congress want to go, i guess they can block it, but boy they are going to pay a price. >> eliot: it's not just that
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wayne la pierre is march i didn't knowallizing a third of histhathe represents, it's the fringe rather than the vast majority of his members, below cede to him the control of an organization that no longer reflect the interests of those beneath it. it comes down to how will john boehner come february-march when the president presents a series of proposals will john boehner let them come to the floor or will he be held hostage last year it was tea part on finance this year, nra in the christians. it's hard to--nra in the conference. what is your thought about this. >> john boehner reasonably in good faith now he has cut that off with plan-b, and he has basically given in to his caucus
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which i obviously told him we don't want good faith negotiations. we don't want you to make a deal with barack obama. that's a precedence playing out before our eyes right now and i'm afraid to say that may be the precedence that we see. if this stuff had 70% approval rating in the american people, even among republicans, how are they going to stand in the way of it? i guess they can but boy, it's hard to see how they can do it. >> i think that reason prevails at the end of the day on this one. political primarily, driving john boehner to recognize he cannot be viewed, he cannot take his party over a cliff where they're representing over millionaires and only the rabid right when it comes to gun. the two theologians have lost, grover norquist on taxes and wayne la pierre on guns, this needs to happen for the republican party. we need to be right about that. >> i hope so.
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if barack obama can chalk up wins again grover norquist and the nra that's impressive. >> eliot: michael tomasky. thank you as always for your insights. joining me now for why gun legislation is so hard to pass, paul blumenthal, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me on. >> eliot: now, you've written fascinating stuff about where the power of the nra comes up, and it's not money so much. it seems like a lot of money but you don't think that's the source of their power. explain this to us? >> well, they spend a ton of money on lobbying, they spend on campaign contributions and they seemingly spend a lot on campaign expenditures, but a lot of that is a drop in the bucket when you look at the fact that they're made up of 4 million members, a lot of whom are hardcore single-issue voters.
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they go and make their voices heard. they call the offices they send in mail. the thing that powers them is not the money but their manpower and also a lot of mythology about their power that they held republicans win in 1994. that they caused al gore to lose the white house in 2000. a lot of that mythology has been built up both by the nra and consultants in the past who would say let's not talk about gun control. in a lot of ways that has led to an increase decrease of the gun control lobby who are running on less money over the past few years until mayor michael bloomberg got involved. >> eliot: i don't buy the notion that they caused al gore the white house, but the larger point that you make is that it
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is, in fact, boots on the ground, to use a military metaphor, but it is people power. it is almost gas roots activism. as much as we don't like to admit it, it is not big bad ugly money on the part of the nra they have 4 million members and they know how to mobilize them. it's an advantage that should be learned by the other side, by those of us who want gun control. >> that's absolutely the case. they are a grassroots organization with a huge membership, whether it be the brady campaign or anybody else, has not really had. maybe now after newtown that will change, we're hearing lots of people signing up whether its mayors against illegal guns or other local groups, we'll have to see if they can transfer that into some sort of political force to get a bill through conference. >> eliot: you tell an amazing story in one of your recent articles about how the disclose act how it is a legislative response to the citizens united case created a special
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carve-out for the nra. tell that story. it is such a remarkable manifestation of the nra's capacity to twist the legislative process. >> essentially you had a bill that was going to require groups to spend money who don't disclose their donors to have to disclose their donors. the nra said we're going to score this bill. if you vote wrong on it, we're going to give you an "f." that actually is a really big deal to a lot of blue-dog democrats, to a lot of republicans who might vote for it. the blue-dog democrats were going to balk and not vote on this bill. this amendment basically said that certainly organizations that have been around for a certain amount of years and have a certain number of members you know raise only under 10% of their funds from corporations don't have to abide by this.
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that basically applied to maybe under 10 organizations nra aarp and a couple of others. >> eliot: when you use the phrase "to score." when the nra said we're going to score a piece of legislation we're going it put this on our list of bills we really care about, and if you vote against it then you're scored against the nra membership. that scares congress. >> it comes from rural and pro gun states, and that seems to be changing with senator manchin and senator warner from virginia stepping back from those positions. >> eliot: the horror on friday hopefully is changing politics on. is wayne la pierre, you have seen that the members of the nra are much more willing to
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embrace more gun control than wayne la pierre. >> there are surveys that show they're far more in favor of sensible gun control than wayne la pierre and how they run the nra in washington. i think that president obama tried to speak to those members by not going after the nra, not attacking them, by saying that the nra people who are members of the nra, you know, support of a lot of these measures he's talking about. he doesn't want to come and take their guns away as the nra has said in their advertisements. >> eliot: right. >> that message was really directed at the members hey you agree with us. >> eliot: i think one of the more interesting moments in the politics of this spring is going to be on friday when we see how the nra reacts to the horror of the shooting in newtown.
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thank you for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> eliot: is the second amendment history misunderstood? that's coming up next. (vo)answer: pour disaronno into a flute glass and top with prosecco. brought to you by disaronno. be originale.
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. >> david: the second amendment lives intense with the efforts who favor gun control to rid our society of ever escalating gun violence. the nra has always opposed meaningful gun control. you might think those statements are historically accurate. they're not. what the text of the second amendment actually means is one of the great questions we grapple with today and the nra until recently supported gun control and meaningful gun regulation. as law scholar adam winkler
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said the founding fathers instituted gung laws so intrusive that were they running for office today the nra would not endorse them. adam winkler joins us now to flesh out the one-dimensional view of history that has guided, unfortunately, our politics. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> eliot: let's begin with the nra. you wrote this remarkable article, and then the book lays out the deevolution of the nra and gun control. early on they fully embraced gun control, tell us about that. >> that's right. it was not always the no-compromise that we know today. in the 1930s the nra were in front of the gun control movement drafting laws that restricted the carrying of concealed firearms and laws that now challenge the second amendment. >> eliot: you alluded that they
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supported a law that required that no one carry concealed weapon in public without a permit. they supported a two-day waiting period before you could buy a handgun which was the waiting period, one of the things that is too radical for the president to propose right now. and require that gun dealers report to law enforcement everybody who was buying so you could do a background check. it's remarkable the nra, which was at the center of reasonableness has shifted, and what was the coup you described in recent years that led to this. >> everything changed for the nra literally overnight in the 1970s. the leaders of the nra wanted to retreat from political lobbying, move the organization to colorado springs, where it could focus on outdoor activities and hunting. that angered the group of hard liners who thought that guns were about personal protection, not hunting ducks. those members staged a coup, manipulating the rules of the
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membership, took over the organization, and recommitted it to the hard line political activism and an extremist view of the second amendment and the rest really is history. >> eliot: in a fascinateing tidbit prior to that coup in the mid 70s the second amendment has not even factored in their analysis and critique of gun control legislation when they were supporting it. they never cited the second amendment and no one worried what would run afoul of the second amendment because the second amendment permitted the reasonable steps that you were just describing for us. >> that's right. could you go back through decades of volumes of american rifleman the signature publication in the 1930s 40s, 1950s. you won't find any mention of the second amendment. today you'll see the second amendment mentioned on almost every other page. they've really changed their stripes and promoted an extreme extremist view of the second amendment that carves out no
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rule for gun control. >> eliot: the founding fathers in terms of access it goes awry to justice scalia, who is breathing into the second amendment the somewhat radical notions that you can't restrict ownership. there is a real tension there. how does he overcome it, and do you think he's fundamentally wrong? >> you'll get no argument from me with scalia being a false originalist. i think he was right in saying that the second amendment protects the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms for personal protection. he's right. we have always had gun control. it's just as much a part of the story of guns in america as the second amendment and the six shooter, and it balances the rights with public welfare, and we can do the same. >> eliot: in terms of the false
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originalism of justice scalia, in the paragraph where you refer that even scalia recognizes there are certain exceptions and carve-outs in the case that has rewritten our understanding of the second amendment her even he acknowledges there is no question that congress can legislate meaningful restriction with respect to gun possession in special places. now i think that's right. i don't think it's right that he articulates, but where does he find that in his originalist world? does he read it in the amendment that the rest of us have been missing? >> absolutely not. it's true that the founding fathers had gun control but they didn't have the gun control that justice scalia points to where he says of course nothing in the second amendment calls into question laws banning felons from possessing firearms or mentally ill possessing
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firearms. the founding fathers did not have laws like that. it doesn't mean that we can't have laws like that. the second amendment is about balancing rights with the public welfare. i think that's what president obama was hitting on, and i think he struck chord. >> eliot: inevitably whatever is passed, and i think something will be passed that will be meaningful, it will be challenged and it will make its way to the supreme court will justice scalia and his presumed majority be there, recognize that things have changed and recognize they have created an expansion of the second amendment under heller, do you think they'll uphold the bans on semiautomatics or the size of magazines as being discussed now as the next steps in gun control. >> i think all the proposals would survive supreme court scrutiny. there is no doubt that universal background checks on every gun purchaser is constitutional permissible. the court said we can ban felons
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and the mentally ill from getting their hands on guns. universal background checks is a way to see to it that they don't get their hands on guns. i think the supreme court is likely to uphold the law. the court said guns in common use for protection while someone could use an ar 15 for self defense, they're not primarily used for self defense in america. >> eliot: bring back the 19 20's as you describe t it was a moderating force and it would an moderating force in our law. professor and author of " "gunfight." thank you for your insights. >> thank you for having me. >> eliot: next, cliff watching are we suddenly taking a dive? more "viewpoint" coming right up.
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v >> eliot: john boehner seemed to shatter the so-calledtiescal cliff negotiations today, and it took him less than a minute. congressman steve israel joins me next.
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>> eliot: president obama's new conference on guns today was emotionally powerful and compelling. the passion of supplied night combined with the call of action on an issue everyone has been talking about since the horrific shootings on friday. what was the topic nearly from every question from the press corp, that's right the fiscal
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cliff. his take on the recent developments in the non-negotiation between the white house and speaker boehner. >> obama: the country deserves folks who are willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good, and not tangle themselves up in a whole bunch of ideological positions that don't make sense. the speaker is now proposing what he called plan-b. he said this would raise taxes only on folks making $1 million or more. let's think about the logic for a second. they're thinking about voting for raising taxes on folks who makeover $1 million, which they say they don't want to do, but they'll reject spending cuts which they say they do want to do. that defies logic. >> eliot: speaker boehner responded with brief comments this afternoon. here is part of the 51 seconds he spent behind the podium.
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>> tomorrow the house will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every american 99.81% of the american people. then the president will have a decision to make. he can call on senate democrats to pass that bill or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in american history. >> eliot: joining me now is congressman steve israel, chairman of the campaign committee, congressman welcome. >> thanks, governor. >> eliot: is it possible that you see the two sides getting into more rigid positions that each thinks it has given as much as it can without sacrificing it's base? is speaker boehner worried that he can't carry it any more and is the president getting heat for concessions he has made? >> i think the president has gone as far as he can go. he has compromised and
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compromised again to meet the americans halfway. the problem is instead of the republicans coming towards the president, they move further away. when the president had plan ha, the republicans had plan-b. now it's plan b-minus because they have new gyrations in the rules committee. the bottom line, the president has gone about as far as he can go. maybe further he went from the $250,000 trigger on taxes then $400,000. maybe he could go to $500,000. but fundamentally john boehner has to make a decision, what is more important the survival of the middle class and working families for the tea party of his caucus. if he sides with the tea party i think we go off this cliff. >> eliot: a couple of days ago over the weekend in particular when speaker boehner crossed the theological line and said we'll increase tax rates for the wealthy. now it struck me now we're in
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the mode where numbers will go back and forth and there will an deal in the middle of the week, and they were optimistic. now you point to plan-b. they're saying we'll pass this bill. they're saying take it or leave it but on a certain level they're putting pressure on the white house saying we've given you your tax cuts for the middle class, why don't you sign this. it's not a bad negotiating ploy even though he's wrong as a matter of policy. >> as matter of a political stunt, maybe it passes muster, as a matter of solution it fails dismally for several reasons. it's actually a tax increase on middle class families. he can say it's a tax cut but it's a tax cuts for people making up to $1 million only if you use the earned income tax credit, you use it. if you use the tuition tax credit to put a kid through college, you'll lose that. all the tax credits used by working families, middle class
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families are gone in plan-b. secondly the so-called plan-b does absolutely nothing on the fundamental question of our debt. all it says is if you're at over $1 million you're going to go back to the clinton era tax rates, but it doesn't do anything about our debt. it doesn't do anything about sequestration or the cliff. these republicans have turned congress into that old cartoon the road runner, where every episode is another cliff. >> eliot: the good thing about the road runner, it was a cartoon. the bad thing congress is supposed to be making real decisions. the thing that beguiles me is the negotiating strategy he put changed cpi for social security on the table. people thought there must be a deal for him to put that on the table. you wouldn't put that on the table unless you weren't certain that the other side would accept
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it, and that would be a deal closer. >> the president felt he had made a concession on the tax cuts going from $250,000 to $400,000. and if the republicans wanted entightentitlement reform? what was the response by the republicans? instead of saying now we have something to negotiate over, the republicans said we're walking away from the deal. we're not doing any of that, and we'll leave washington and let this economy go off this cliff. i think the president was expecting the republicans to negotiate in good faith instead they slammed the door on him. >> eliot: he should have realized from last year's experience that negotiating in good faith is antithical. >> not with this crowd. >> eliot: i thought they must have behind-the-scenes deal, and that's why this gridlock that
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we're hitting once again is surprising to me, just as a matter of strategy that we're encountering. you say the president could go up a little bit from $400,000 in terms of the threshold that the tax was kick in without losing the democratic base, but he does not have a lot of give at this point. >> no, he doesn't. the president is at $400,000 cut off for the tax cuts. boehner is presumably at $1 million. if the republicans truly want to negotiate, i think our caucus would support maybe a cut off at $500,000 as opposed to $400,000. i personally, governor, you know being from long island, i don't think $250,000 necessarily makes you rich. i could support $500,000. i think the president could give a little more there. but you got to have something to negotiate with. and we still are waiting for speaker boehner to come to the table with a good faith negotiation. >> eliot: there was the observation, with the hesitancy
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to raise taxes with the budget coming from non-defense discretionary spending over the next ten years we're going to end up with a government that is healthcare spending, defense department but not a whole lot in the other areas, pell grants, nih, the thing we want government to do. the government's purpose is restricted and a debate of what we've been losing. >> it's to take the oxygen out of government. we can do this. we know what needs to be done. you have to do what every middle class family does, and that is to balance the books. but we also need revenues. the president has put $1.2 trillion of revenues on the table. the response from the republicans, hardly any revenues and let's cut growth for the middle class and infrastructure, but keep spending on defense. we need a plan that is big and that is bold that is balanced and fair, and every time we think we're there the republicans move the goal post further away. >> eliot: it has not been a pretty picture. i want to pivot to the gun
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control issue pervasive in terms of the conversations one has in any context whether on capitol hill or out on the street. you saw the president today. he's speaking with a new passion, a new energy. will again will speaker boehner move on gun control or his conference going to be saying we want teachers to carry guns one of the most insane notions that i've heard in a long time. will boehner move on this? >> it is just shocking that some members of his conference after this tragedy in newtown they say, well, what we need to do is arm kindergarten teachers and have shootouts in elementary schools. i'm sorry to tell you that i don't see many republicans moving towards common sense even in the aftermath of this tragedy. i do hear many democrats, quite honestly, even at yesterday's democratic caucus, some democrats who have been regarded as historic supporters of the nra speaking up and saying we
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have got to figure this out. there are common-sense things we can do. we'll have solutions. the president will put those solutions on the table before congress in january and we need to act. we keep seeing these horrors play out, and we say that they are teachable moments and then we forget the lesson until the next horror. we can't let this happen again. >> eliot: well said, and let's hope there is uniformity in that on capitol hill. >> i hope so. >> eliot: always a joy to have you on the show, thank you. >> thanks, governor. >> eliot: what exactly is john boehner thinking? we'll try to answer this question coming up. with "viewpoint with eliot spitzer." >>questions, of course, need to be answered. >>we will not settle for the easy answers.
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ultimatum to the president? we'll bring in ken vogel and brian beutler. thank you for joining us. was this a slap to the president saying hey i'm taking my marbles and going home. your move. >> it's about a close to an ultimatum that you can get. i spoke to one of the speaker's aide's and he said that the speaker would be open to more negotiate. boehner wants obama to come to him, have the mountain move towards hoe mohammed, and the president is not ready to do that at all. and this plan-b to get obama to move has not quite worked. now boehner has to round up votes to try to pass it, and
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that's why we're in the mess we're in today. >> eliot: it seems to me last weekend they crossed their major ideological divide when they said they're raising rates on the wealthy the rates being the sand that they were not willing to cross. and the cpi the real entitlement cut it seems that it will be coming to reaching the middle ground and then things stalled out again. what do you think has happened to thank this. >> boehner has had a hard time bringing about his conference. this is a stunt and delay tactic, and it may be plan-b for boehner, it may be because he's having trouble bringing along the members of the conference, particularly the quote tee party members who we heard congressman israel taking a swipe at there. it's a real struggle for boehner. he has this sort of outward game where he's negotiating with obama where he's trying to bring along his caucus, and he's trying to make it appear as if
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he has done something. as if this plan b is something that he can show, in fact republicans have acted in good faith here. but even that, he's having trouble getting members of his congress to go along with it. i think that's really what is going on, and president obama on the flip side has shown an ability to move democrats even if there is some sort of hand wringing about the cpi the raising the rates the level of which the higher rates have come into $400,000. you know, it's ironic that democrats are the ones who have the party and the republicans are difficult to herd here. >> eliot: this is not the normal state of play where the democrats are unrulely. in reality brian in fact boehner has been fighting a two-front war. this was the break down with the grand bargain when he could no longer bring the republican votes. is he saying to the president
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behind doors i can't go any further. i'm not saying this is a stunt. you have to help me out, i just don't have the votes. if that happens what is the next step? >> i think we'll find out tomorrow how many votes john boehner has for the prop proposition. if it passes it helps give leverage to obama to bail him out and get him the rest of the way there. if it doesn't maybe we'll have 150 votes, 160 votes to raise taxes just above the $1 million threshold. if he does that, it tells him and the democrats something very important about where things go from here. if he can round up a significant number of votes for plan-b, that means that maybe he can't force obama's hand, and maybe they don't get a grand bargain but maybe democrats and republicans can come together, pass a senate bill and set the threshold at 250,000, and call it a day.
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he doesn't know where he is really. >> eliot: to come back to what you said before, which is correct so far that the democratic party being unified party and nancy pelosi the democratic leader saying we're going to stick with the president. but there are rumblings, little voices of dissatisfaction that is saying why did you put the changed cpi if you really didn't have a deal to close with that give, there are some murmurings within the democratic party that maybe the president is giving up too much. the times editorial say this should be a take it or leave it moment from the president. how much farther do you think the president can go. >> you're right there are some who think he's giving away the store prematuringly. and boehner and the republicans of the house have dug in and they're being obstinate here. but if they could give more and
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obama could go further than he has gone, maybe it's boehner who could end up looking like the better negotiator in all this. i don't think obama is as worried about monthly mollifiyng the base. but if they feel he caved on this point that he ran on. this is one of the mandates of the election. >> eliot: one another reason that the president is not worried, he doesn't need to appeal to the constituentcy to keep his job as speaker. come on, guys, you're little kids. run out and act like grownups. the issue of the day is gun control. brian, does speaker boehner have the capacity to get gun control through his house? >> at this point just a guess i would is a no. >> eliot: ken, we come to you. the president will give a powerful state of the union
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this national trauma that should have galvanized us and given support of basic common sense if it sits in the house of representatives, is that a milk stone around the republican party in two years? >> i think it could be. it's going to be difficult for house republicans to vote against just incremental gun control measures like something on the assault weapons something on the high capacity munitions clips. if the senate democrats can pass something, i think it will put house republicans in a tough position to look like they're opposing something so soon after this. the question is whether they can get legislation in front of the house while it's fresh in apple's mind. >> eliot: you said something important. that would be good legislation but it is incremental. ken vogel politico, and brian beulter, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you el i don't a
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citizen who decided to act not just talk. he joins us next.
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ñ >> eliot: finally tonight in the wake of the tragedy in newtown parents and citizens throughout the country have been talking and taking action against the senseless gun laws in our this nation. our next guest did something. he was so moved by the horrors at sandy ham elementary, he held a vigil in front of the private he can kit company that owns numerous gun manufacturers including bush master. the company that made ar-15. thank you for doing something politicians love to talk. very few people do, and did you. thank you for that. >> thank you for having me. >> eliot: what motivated you? what was it that got you to say we got to do something? what moved your heartstrings. >> i think a lot of us watching the news on friday, seeing what happened, the general feeling of
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outrage. i felt that i wanted to do something, and i don't know what i did will have any impact, but i felt we needed to look at what is behind the current situation? our society is failing where 34 people are killed a day from gun murders, and something has to change. >> eliot: you have two young children. >> i do. i have a four-year-old and a six-year-old. my daughter is in first grade and it could any of us. >> eliot: the vigil that you held tonight, and you went online and said join us, it was in front--it was stephen feinberg's townhouse, how did you decide that's what you wanted to go? >> i was curious who is profiting from the sales of guns. i saw the bushmaster gun and it's own by the freedom group owned by cerberus, and stephen
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feinberg is head of serberus. as the rest of the country explains what happened to their kids, what happens to his family? and at the point of investment, do we really want to be making money from the sale of these weapons? he has got enough money. does this really need to happen? i thought you know, we need to look beyond the regular debate of the gun policy debate and see who is profiting and see who makes money from the sale of bushbushmaster rifles. >> eliot: you're on on to something both in the vigil that you held, but feinberg has to decide, this is not what you want to be. how do you look your kids in the eye. if you can put pressure through the money, you can get people to change their behavior. you've done that. cerberus-- >> i was infuriated that at 1:00 in the morning they came
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out and said they want to sell the freedom group? they've been profiting from bush bushmaster rifles for six years. this is not the first incident that has happened. 34 people killed by guns a day. it's not necessarily for any moral reason that they want to sell. it's not that his father lives in nu newtown. a lot of media is reporting that the reason why he wants to sell the freedom group is that the california state teachers pension fund is threatening to pull their $750 million investment. >> eliot: this was not a moral conversion on his part. it was a hard economic analysis. >> how did it help by selling? he's just going to pass it on to the highest bidder who is doing what they're doing. >> eliot: what should he do? >> i don't know, he needs to be creative. as brian said in the last segment, he doesn't think that congress is going to act. maybe we get the defense department not to buy
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Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer
Current December 19, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Boehner 18, Nra 8, John Boehner 8, Eliot 7, Wayne La Pierre 6, Obama 6, Washington 4, Israel 3, Trayvon Martin 3, Eliot Spitzer 2, Barack Obama 2, Stephen Feinberg 2, Grover Norquist 2, Adam Winkler 2, Steve 2, Vo 1, Newtown 1, Nu Newtown 1, California 1, Colorado Springs 1
Network Current
Duration 01:00:00
Rating PG
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Virtual Ch. 107 (CURNT)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
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on 12/20/2012